Before The Snow Melts

We lack urgency. All adults do. But with it we gain appreciation and value to our lives. For if we do not crave every waking moment, our lives become just one moment shorter. What should happen today we push off until tomorrow, until tomorrow is too late.

Three years ago we tried to squeeze every minute out of every day. Having just returned home from St. Jude, we knew that Elena had but months to live. The doctors called it a “honeymoon” and just as all honeymoons must end, we knew that we may never be so lucky as to believe that ours would continue. We woke up at 5 am, eager for the sunrise, and went to bed with the morning’s greeting. And each day busier than the previous, planned to the minute so that one day might account for two. It was the best months of our lives, while also being the worst.

Today that urgency is all but gone. We wake leisurely and for the first time go to bed before midnight. We do what we want to instead of what we must to capture every chance that may be lost. And I hate it. In three years we’ve lost the urgency. In three years we’ve become normal. In three years we’ve forgotten. When you live like you’ve lost it all, you never want to have it all again. Money loses its value next to the only commodity you can’t get enough of: time. And I fear we have lost our way.

It snowed for the first time in a month last night. Truthfully, it wasn’t even much of a snow – more like sleet, rain, sleet, snow and then rain once again. Still, to me it was different. It was about capturing the moment. And instead of dreading the loss of business it would create, the traffic problems we would endure or even the slush that soaked through my boots, I welcomed the moment. Brooke saw the look in my eyes as I watched the weather. I was looking for an excuse and she knew better than to stand in my way. I wanted to take Gracie sledding – no matter how cold and how wet. But even more, I wanted to create a memory.

Without even a question, Brooke went along with Gracie and I as we arranged a trip to the local ski resort for extreme sledding as the rain-sleet-snow continued. Even friends joined in on our adventure, unsure themselves if it was a good idea.

In the end, it wasn’t my best idea. More soaked than cold we climbed into my car at the end of the night and drove through blizzard-like conditions only to thankfully end our journey in our driveway rather than in a snowdrift on the side of the highway. Still, if given the moment, I’d have it no other way. For more than about sledding, the trip was about capturing the moment. It was about having urgency and it was about living. I have no doubt memories were made. And somehow I imagine that Brooke’s memories are slightly more negative than mine, but in the end I want nothing more than to live like Elena taught us to: with compassion, with love and with urgency.

8 Responses to “Before The Snow Melts”

  1. Darla Creasey says:

    amen to that!!!!!!!!!!!! keep on making those memories!!!!!!!!

  2. Wendy Krickovic says:

    Urgency… a rule and motto to live by. Thank you for continuing to share memories of Elena.

  3. Bob and Rita Hauck says:

    We affirm you all for seizing the moment and living life with priorities. It has always been our life guiding principle in every decision about how to use our time to ask this question: “In 20 years as we look back on today, what will we wish we had done?” May God continue to give you the wisdom to make those incredibly important decisions about making memories! Blessings, Bob and Rita Hauck

  4. colleen says:

    “live like you were dying”……that song says it all….and we should all live like that….

    “tomorrow is a gift…not a promise”…

    thanks for the beautiful words…

  5. Briana says:

    Hi I’m a 6th grader in middle school,
    I found this book by People magizine. So, after that it was put on my Christmas list. And that morning I came to a great suprise to see I got the book. After finishing a book I was planning to read it next. Next month I finally got to start the book but I never got to put it down. Kids were very interested by the book. I have SSR and kids dread it but I die to be in that class all the time and read about your adventures. Kids are actually wanting to buy the book as soon as they can. So, the next day in school
    I saw people have it, and I’m very proud that the money goes to helping. I pray for a better start and new beginning but with Elena in mind. She would want the very best for her family. Please stay in touch. Love, Briana

  6. darcie says:

    What a beautiful lesson – We could all benefit from slowing down yet living life with some urgency…
    thank you for sharing your story with us…

  7. LaGretta says:

    Thank you for contining to write for Elena you have truly blessed all our hearts
    I have never met you are your family besides in your words and you have truly brought my family and I much closer together and I really appreciate you for that. May God continue to bless you and your family on this journey were all on.

  8. Thank you for once again reminding us how to cherish every moment of our lives, how to live with passion!

    Especially when we have been dealing quite some unusual amount of snow here for the whole winter. When we adults go complaining about the inconvenience caused by the snow, we should also live like our kids enjoying the fun part of it. They don’t mind if it’s cold and wet, as they just enjoy those fun moments!